By Pat Melgares, K-State Research and Extension news service
Manhattan, KS Even during the heart of winter, a popular online gardening series is drawing hundreds of Kansans to its monthly, lunch-hour programs.
Organizers of the K-State Garden Hour say the 2023 lineup – which kicked off on Jan. 4 – will continue a tradition of providing updated information on gardening topics that Kansans have asked for.
“We are excited to offer a new round of webinars in 2023, based on the topics our participants requested most,” said Matthew McKernan, a K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County. “There’s no better time than the cold, winter months to be planning for the coming year’s garden.”
A one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the 2023 sessions, which include:
- Feb. 1 – More Plants from Your Plants: Introduction to Vegetative Plant Propagation.
- March 1 – Houseplants: Basics and Beyond.
- April 5 – Growing to New Heights with Vertical Gardening.
- May 3 – Drought Tolerant Plants for a Challenging Kansas Landscape.
- June 7 – Drought Tolerant Lawns of Kansas: Warm Season Turfgrass.
- July 5 – Solutions to Your Top Garden Insect and Disease Problems.
- Aug. 2 – Integrating Native Plants Into Your Home Landscape.
- Sept. 6 – Seed Saving From Your Garden.
- Oct. 4 – Putting Your Garden to Bed: Winter Garden Prep.
- Nov. 1 – Climate Change in Gardening.
- Dec. 6 – Beekeeping Basics: How to Start Your Own Colony.
The Jan. 4 program – Gardening Myths and Misconceptions – was recorded and available to watch anytime on the program’s website, http://www.ksre-learn.com/KStateGardenHour. McKernan said 834 viewers have already watched that video.
Each program is held online from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (CST), including a 45 minute presentation and 10-15 minutes for viewer questions. A description of each program is available online.
McKernan said those who have registered for past webinars must register again for the 2023 series. As in past years, recordings of all webinars can be viewed online.
The K-State Garden Hour began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for K-State Research and Extension horticulture experts to share research-based information to gardeners of all abilities and experience.
It has blossomed into a program that, in 2022, was watched by viewers in 40 states, eight countries and four continents, according to McKernan. Between January and December, the program drew 12,924 viewers, including a single-session high of 932 live viewers for a workshop on starting seeds indoors.
Since its beginning in 2020, McKernan said the K-State Garden Hour has drawn more than 42,000 online viewers.
McKernan said those who responded to a survey about the 2022 series indicated several positive outcomes, including:
- 9 out of 10 participants reported decreasing their personal stress levels as a result of watching K-State Garden Hour webinars, which improved their overall physical and/or emotional health.
- 95% of participants reported increasing their quality of life by expanding their personal awareness and appreciation of the natural environment.
- 72% of participants said they have started, improved or continued to design their garden spaces to attract wildlife.
- 76% of participants reported spending more time gardening as a result of the webinars.
“It’s incredible to see the impact and positive response from our K-State Garden Hour series audience,” McKernan said. “Our entire team has enjoyed hosting the webinar series, and we’re ecstatic to see people’s confidence in gardening growing, as well as to see our participants’ having greater success in what they are growing.
“We hope that enthusiasm continues into 2023 and people continue to take advantage of all the benefits this series has to offer.”
In addition to information online, interested persons can also contact their local K-State Research and Extension office for more details on the K-State Garden Hour.